Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Calaveras de Azúcar

For those of you who aren't familiar, Dia de Los Muertos (which translates to day of the dead) is a Mexican holiday to honors, remember and celebrate those who have passed on. The holiday is marked by festive eating and drinking, sometimes on the grave site of the dead, where colorful altars are set up with favorite foods and drinks of the departed loved ones. Among the common decorations are calaveras de azúcar (Sugar Skulls).

In commemoration of the holiday, which is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd (to coincide with the Catholic holidays All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day) I thought I'd share with you my Halloween costume from this year: my very own pout painted up like a super sweet sugar skull!

This was my first crack at a calavera de azúcar, but luckily for me, they come as basic or as detailed as you'd like, so I had a wide range to work from. I started out by applying Ben Nye Cream Foundation in P-1 White over my entire face using an ELF studio powder brush. Next, I applied a fine white opalescent glitter all over (I'll be washing that out of my hair until next year!) I used a good craft store glitter; unfortunately, you really can't see it in the picture, but trust me- it's there. This gave a nice effect that was reminiscent of actual sugar, though were I to do this again, I'd spray a sealer over the white cream before applying the glitter. I didn't this time and I found that the cream makeup somewhat coated the glitter and reduced its shimmer.

Next, to make my face appear more skeletal, I used a MAC 109 brush and NYX Black eyeshadow to carve out the hollow under my cheek, angling the line down along my chin and then blending it out toward my neck. An inverted heart painted on with MAC Blackground Paint Pot mimics the nasal cavity of the skull.

For my lips, I chose a red lip liner (Ben Nye in Plum LP-24 which, despite its name, is a cherry red shade) and traced a small, heart shaped lip inside my natural lip line, slightly exaggerating the line up over my Cupid's bow. Once I was happy with the shape, I filled in with MAC Lady Danger lipstick and a tiny bit of OCC Lip Tar in NSFW. For the stitches/skeleton teeth effect, I used Lancome Artliner in Noir.

The first step for my eyes was a good primer- I used Urban Decay Primer Potion this time, but I like Too Faced Shadow Insurance just as well, so if that's what you have, use it! Using my orbital bone as a guide, I then used a synthetic concealer brush to fill in the entire ocular cavity with black. I ended up using the same MAC Blackground Paint Pot that I'd used on my nose, so in the end I may not have needed a primer, but better to be safe than sorry! When I finished filling in my eyes, I topped of the black area with a dusting of Sugarpill Chromalust pigment in Stella (an awesome black base with vibrant rainbow sparkles!)to add a bit of interest.

To do the "petals" around the eyes, first I took a liner and lightly traced the area- the same Ben Nye Plum for the red petals, and Urban Decay Ransom for the purple. I did the smaller, red petals first, basically placing one above and one below my pupil, and then one at the outer corner of my eye. Then I went back with the purple and drew larger petals in the gaps. For the red petals, I used Sugarpill Love+ to fill in, on the purple petals I first filled in with Sugarpill Poison Plum and then made a center highlight and blended out to the edges of the petal with Sugarpill Dollipop.

At this point, I was running out of time and had a very impatient toddler (and perhaps a more impatient toddler's Daddy!) waiting, so I grabbed a bit of Sugarpill Darling Chromalust and mixed in a couple drops of MAC water-based mixing medium to make a paste. Using a fine lining brush (Grumbacher #1 Goldenedge Round from the craft store) I pained a freehand vine on the center of my forehead, as well as spikes coming out from between the petals around my eyes. I also used the same brush to paint a few hash marks around the inside corner of the eye, and after washing it, painted small hearts at the end of the petal spikes using Makeup For Ever Aqua Cream #7 Fuchsia. My final touch was a flower at the center of my head- the orange center is done with Sugarpill Flamepoint (which darkened a bit due to the moisture from the cream makeup) and the yellow petals are OCC Liptar in Traffic with Sugarpill Buttercupcake on top. A spritz of Mehron Barrier Spray kept the entire thing on through the night; this photo was actually taken after trick-or-treating!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and even if you're not Mexican or Catholic (I'm neither myself) use this day to remember with fondness the people in your lives who are no longer with you in body, and take comfort in knowing that as long as you honor them in memory, they'll always live on in spirit.

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